Memories that remain: Mamma Mia! and the disruptive potential of nostalgia | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1750-3159
  • E-ISSN: 1750-3167



The creators of Mamma Mia! use the music of the 1970s pop group ABBA to create a cheeky response to the postfeminist culture of the 1990s and 2000s. Although most nostalgic culture of that era indicates a yearning for a prefeminist era, by reimaging the culture of the 1970s – the heyday of women’s liberation – the show evinces a nostalgia for the feminist sisterhood of pre-Reagan years, harnessing an emotion normally put to conservative purposes for a progressive cause. The focus on three over-40 female leads who are professional, sexual and unashamed of their feminist pasts, Mamma Mia! participates in ongoing conversations about single motherhood and ageing female bodies within a culture that implicitly holds women increasingly responsible for providing pleasant domestic experiences and pleasing appearances within traditional patriarchical family structures.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): ABBA; ageing; feminism; Mamma Mia!; nostalgia; postfeminism
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